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Ryan Gjerde


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Registered Since: 2007-03-20 20:45:48

Profile: I'm the Academic Technology Librarian at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. We are a private liberal arts institution, and our library is part of a merged organization with our IT services. My department manages campus classroom and lab computing/AV, our learning management system (we use Moodle and love it - let me know if you'd like more info!), and provides training for faculty interesting in learning more about technology. I received my MLS from the University of Iowa in 2001, and this is my third national ACRL conference.

Lessons, Day 2

General Conference Thoughts 1 Comment »

My pace slowed considerably on Saturday, starting with the last cruise through the exhibit hall and poster sessions (I was the one with the large splotch of blueberry yogurt on my nametag and shirt for most of the morning). It seemed like there was a little more room to maneuver, but it also could have been that people were allowing me a wide berth due to the breakfast I was wearing.

Post-yogurt lessons from Day 2 after the jump…

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Day One Lessons Learned

General Conference Thoughts 2 Comments »

What a full and satisfying day of conferencing! I thought I’d share some of the lessons learned…

One of the first things I learned was that the WordPress editor has a “Split post with more” option (Thanks, johnmeier!). Obviously, I’m somewhat of a rookie blogger!

After the jump, more lessons learned:

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a Small World

General Conference Thoughts No Comments »

Apropos of nothing, I’ve noticed that I’ve been seeing the same 5-10 people over and over again since my flight in from Minneapolis.  In the exhibit hall, at sessions, in the elevator at the hotel, walking along the harbor ….  The questions remains, am I following them or are they following me?

Today at lunch I by chance sat at the same table with two people I had lunch with at the last ACRL conference, and one person I attended the Sharon Hogan Management Pre-Conference in 2005.

And finally, I think I saw one of my library school classmates walk by with her family last night while I was at dinner.  This bears mention only because I think I saw her from across the exhibit hall two years ago, and was similarly unable to get her attention to say hello.

So, Maris Hayashi, if you are out there, long live Team Monkey Puzzle!

I am a gamer

New Technology in Libraries, Teaching and Learning 1 Comment »

As someone who enjoys playing video games, I’ve tried from time to time to figure out a way to sneak something like that into my job description.  I’ve offered to help test Xbox Live over our network, or Mario Kart DS over the wireless in our library…

I’ve attended a few sessions in the past couple of weeks that give me hope for the future.  Last week at the Iowa ACRL conference at Grinnell College, I heard Paul Waelchli of The University of Dubuque talk about UD’s efforts in applying the pedigogical concepts of video games to information literacy instruction.  It was an informative, engaging and entertaining session, and I took a lot away to apply in my own instruction whether it ends up being game-based or face-to-face. (take a look at our state chapter conference program)

This morning I attended “Rocking the Boat & Catching the Wave: A gaming solution for library instruction,” presented by members of the University of Cincinnati.  It was also an interesting look at multi-year effort to design an interactive game that would teach about plagarism.  One important message I took from this session is that effective “edutainment” must appear elegantly simple.  An example of this is the Montage-a-Google game demo’d during the session by Debbie Tenofsky, as a quick way to teach keyword searching skills.  Check it out!

Top 5 tips for first-time attendees

First-Time Attendees, General Conference Thoughts No Comments »

Greetings from Northeast Iowa! This snow has all but melted here, but I’m still eager to experience a little east coast Spring this weekend. My bags are almost packed, and I’m looking forward to applying my Archie McPhee library tattoos upon my arrival to Baltimore.

This will be my 3rd National ACRL conference. I look forward to seeing some familiar faces, as well as some new ones. I feel obligated in this first post to pass on some “wisdom” to those new to this conference. Without further ado, here’s my “top 5″ list.

1. Make new friends
Yes, the program is packed with numerous meaningful and interesting presentations, and the exhibit hall will showcase plentiful cool new resources and tools, but my favorite part of this conference is meeting people from a variety of academic library backgrounds. So introduce yourself when you sit down next to someone you don’t know at a session, or look around for a table of interesting people to join at lunch. Heck, if networking wasn’t so much fun (and worthwhile) we’d all choose to attend the conference virtually!

2. Know the Program (but stay spontaneous!)
When I was in 7th grade, my family took a trip to Disney World. I took it upon myself to read every guide book in our public library, and completely outlined our schedule, ride-by-ride, for our 4 day stay because I wanted to squeeze the most out of this once-in-a -lifetime experience. Well, all that hard work flew out the window as soon as the gates to the Magic Kingdom opened and my family, against the well-reasoned logic of my schedule, raced to Space Mountain along with 500 other tourists. I was a little miffed initially, but needless to say, had a great time on the trip.
I have to admit I have a similar experience at this conference … my program will look a little tattered by the end of Thursday, as I’ve highlighted my best route to the closing session. At the same time, I like to be flexible about diverging from my chosen path if need be. One of the best bits of advice from a colleague at my first ACRL conference was not to be afraid to leave a session if it’s not quite what you thought it would be.

3. Take a break
Learning about innovative ideas and meeting new and interesting people can be tiring! So don’t overdo it. If that means sleeping in an extra hour one morning, or skipping a session or two in the afternoon to grab a coffee, or meeting up with some of your new friends (see Tip #1) for an evening on the town, do it. Whatever it takes to keep you mental and physically fresh!

4. Conquer the exhibit hall
Just like with the session listings, I like to spend some time figuring out which vendors I’d like to talk to and where they are located. Other good things to know are where the refreshment tables are, what the traffic pattern around the public email terminals is like, and where to find the best swag.

5. Don’t forget the poster sessions
I’m a big fan of poster sessions because they’re a great opportunity to spend some concentrated one-on-one time with a presenter. In an hour or so, you can learn a lot about 4 to 6 projects, and often make some good connections with experts who are more than happy to field questions down the road.

Virtual Conference produced by LearningTimes in coordination with the ACRL
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